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How to Start Collecting Tzeentch

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RUNCMD

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Intro

 

After diving into Tzeentch, both Mortals and Daemons and having played the Army for some time now, I figured I would write a guide for people looking to start the army in 2020 and possibly into 2021, due to a few people on TGA asking the best way to start the army.

This is being written just as the Broken Realms: Morathi book has been released, no Dec FAQ being released and no extra cool rules in the Broken Realms series that will ultimately see Tzeentch get something new.

That being said, I will try and give as much information as possible, without harping on too much, but apologies if that does happen. I will also include the TLDR at the top here, because after writing all of this, I release how long it is with the lists included but read on if you’re keen.

TLDR!!!!!!

Spoiler

 

Regardless of the Daemon or Mortal route, grab yourself at minimum the following:

Battletome

-          X1 Start collecting box, even if you only ever end up using these units for summoning

-          X1 – 2 boxes of Blue and Brim Horrors, same as above even if they're just for summoning, they make amazing screens

-          The current Battleforce is a great place to start for a Mortals heavy or Daemon/Mortals combo, especially when coupled with the Start Collecting Box

-          X2 (minimum) Boxes of Kairic Acolytes for the Mortals side Battleline

 

This guide is also in no way focuses on competitive play but does dabble a little bit into it and is more for people looking to start a new army or who enjoy the more casual gaming side of AOS but also want options to branch into competitive later.

What this doesn’t really cover in a lot of detail is the Covens (or subfactions) that Tzeentch has to offer and the “Agendas” that Tzeentch can complete which give your units Buffs for completing mini missions on the side.

Where to begin?

Like most Chaos armies there are two main routes you can go down with Tzeentch, Daemons or Mortals. Whichever you choose you need to consider/keep these things in mind when collecting Tzeentch:

-          - The army can be a horde army that is both quick to and can take a lot of time to paint

-          - It can be quite expensive either which way you go if you’re aiming for a 2k army

-          - It has a moderate to steep learning curve (depending on your own gaming experience)

-          - It does require a fair bit of overhead in terms of “army management” when playing

-          - It is a glass canon for the most part

-          - It has a couple of strong melee options available within the default Allegiance, but easily adds more with the likes of Slaves to Darkness

-          - Has summoning (Fate Points) which is based off successful spells being cast (both yours and the opponents)

-          - Has a great mechanic called Destiny Dice (described below)

-          - It is a more magic/shooting based army by default that prefers to hold back and play the longer game

-          - It is an extremely rewarding army to play when you start to master it/get your groove on

If the above hasn’t put you off, then the next thing to decide is what do you find more appealing of the two, do you prefer the Daemons or Mortals or even a combo of both?

From here, I will break the collecting side down into these three options. Keeping this inline with a more “basic” guide for the more casual players on their way to 2k. I will also provide some lists that focuses on these avenues, that are a bit more vanilla but also will see you have some fun and can build on later!

Side note: all of this can be thrown out the window if you just go for the “rule of cool” which I’m a huge fan of!

Destiny Dice

After armies have been set up but before the first battle

round begins, roll 9 dice and put them to one side.

These are your Destiny Dice. Destiny Dice can be used

during the battle to change the results of different

dice rolls.

 

The number of Destiny Dice you have at any time must

never exceed 9.

 

Instead of making one of the rolls from the list below

for a friendly TZEENTCH unit, you can spend one or

more of your Destiny Dice. The result of the roll you

would have made is replaced with the value on the

Destiny Dice you spent. For example, instead of rolling

a dice to see how far a TZEENTCH unit would run in

the movement phase, you could spend a Destiny Dice

to determine the distance. If you spent a Destiny Dice

with a value of 5, the unit would run 5".

Destiny Dice can be spent in place of the following

dice rolls:

• Casting rolls

• Unbinding rolls

• Dispelling rolls

• Run rolls

• Charge rolls

• Hit rolls

• Wound rolls

• Save rolls

• Any roll that determines the Damage characteristic

of a missile or melee weapon

• Battleshock tests

Daemons of Tzeentch

By far and large one of the best boxes GW has created is the Start Collecting Box: Daemons of Tzeentch, in terms of value for money. The box hosts a lot (and I mean a lot) of versatility and options from what you can build. If you want to go down the Daemon heavy route, you want to probably pick up at least two boxes of this box which will provide you with some awesome hero’s, Pink Horrors as Battleline, Screamers for Battleline (if you choose Host Arcanum Coven), various ways to build the Exalted flamer on chariot or on foot and also those nice flamers which do a lot of damage in shooting.

The box is great to be able to also kitbash a Fluxmaster on Disc (if you don’t like the old resin model), a Blue Scribes (if you don’t like the old resin model) whilst still giving you the options to have extra Exalted Flamers for summoning or even to fill out Battalions etc. I bought 3 Start Collecting boxes (pre AOS 2.0 tome) and ended up building the following:

X1 Fluxmaster on Disc (kitbash)

X1 Blue Scribes (kitbash)

X1 Changecaster

X2 Exalted Flamers on foot

X3 units of Pink Horrors

X3 Units of Flamers

X3 Units of Screamers

X9 Blue Horrors you get from not building the Burning Chariots (bonus)

If you include the slightly underpowered unit of Blues (only by 1 model), this actually brings you to a total of 1920 points off the bat. Which is a solid start for Daemons. From here you will need at least TWO boxes of Blues and Brims for each Unit of the Pink Horrors you chose to field (this is where it gets expensive and also somewhat laborious in terms of painting, although contrast can make short work of that).

The units above are the real crux of what you will want to be fielding in terms of all Daemon units. From here though, you will want to get yourself a Lord of Change and later down the line, a Changeling. Once you have a Lord of Change, you will be able to field the current “Meta” Battalion of Changehost! Which allows for a lot of fun and all the units above more or less fills the Battalion requirements.

In terms of Covens that you can choose for the above units, the Daemon ones are really versatile and a lot of fun. At this point in time, I don’t think there is a bad one for what you will pick, but the standard one, in conjunction with Change host (this is what makes it the “Meta” which is also starting to shift), is the Eternal Conflagration which also makes Flamers as Battleline so you can drop some of those Pink Horrors and boxes of Blues and Brims and lower the cost a bit! Host Arcanum as mentioned above will make your Screamers an even cheaper Battleline but I’d also suggest still taking some of those Pinks for screening/tar pit purposes.

One Model that is going to be covered a bit more later that also falls into the Daemon section is the Gaunt Summoner. This guy is pretty great albeit he has had a pretty decent nerf since the FAQ a bit earlier in 2020. He is a 2 cast Wizard (great for racking up Fate Point for summoning), can bring in 4 different Daemon units one of which being Pinks but only 5 models in the unit or a unit of Furies. All which have great versatility in their own right, minus those stupid Khorne Bloodletters which you can just chuck in the bin! I wouldn’t say that he is a staple for a Daemon list but he is pretty versatile in the long run and is something to chuck into your mix a bit later!

There’s a lot of Endless Spells that synergize well with the Daemon side of Tzeentch, especially anything that offers an extra -1 to hit as Tzeentch Daemon units get a tasty -1 to hit in Melee when they are wholly within 12’ of a Tzeentch Daemon Hero!

A quick list using the above models looks like:

Spoiler

 

Allegiance: Tzeentch

Change Coven: Eternal Conflagration

LEADERS

Lord of Change (380)- General

Fluxmaster, Herald of Tzeentch on Disc (130)

The Blue Scribes (120)

UNITS

10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (220)

10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (220)

6 x Flamers of Tzeentch (280)

3 x Flamers of Tzeentch (140)

1 x Exalted Flamers of Tzeentch (100)

6 x Screamers of Tzeentch (160)

BATTALIONS

Changehost (180)

ENDLESS SPELLS / TERRAIN / COMMAND POINTS

Geminids of Uhl-Gysh (60)

TOTAL: 1990/2000 WOUNDS: 84

 

This is a very vanilla list for Tzeentch at the moment but packs a lot of power. As mentioned above it allows you to chop and change the covens and will keep you busy for a while. Spells go in as you want them.

 

Mortals of Tzeentch

Mortals are by far my favourite aesthetic for Tzeentch and what I am currently mostly interested in, so I may be a bit bias in some of this writing. They are in a somewhat weird place in terms of points cost list wise and some of the Battalions are not overly great, minus a couple. That doesn’t mean they are not viable, but it means you have to be a bit more creative with how you spend your points.

At the time of writing, the latest Battleforce Boxes have been released and comes with the following:

X1 Lord of Change

X1 Gaunt Summoner

X20 Kairic Acolytes

X3 Tzaangor Enlightened on Disc (can be built on foot)

X10 Tzaangor on Foot

Depending on price point in your country, this is a great way to dive into the Mortal side of Tzeentch at the present as it offers a lot of good options and will be easy to expand on from there. I will say though, as mentioned above, Mortals are a bit lacking at the present in some ways, especially the Coven that is dedicated to the Tzaangors. Because of this I have found that at the present the best bang for points in a list using their specific coven is the Kairic Acolytes coupled with Pyrofane Cult which buffs their shooting tremendously.

Tzaangors on foot are a great option to put into your list to get some melee punch in, whilst leveraging the shooting of Kairics! That leads me into the Tzaangor Enlightened (both variants) and Skyfires. At the present, there’s still a lot of debate about these two units in terms of Strength and best bang for buck. I will leave that to your own decision on whether you prefer shooting (Skyfires) or melee (Enlightened). Both are great to pick up and add to your force, but as it stands I think that Skyfires are over costed for what you get and to that end, I prefer Enlightened on Disc. If you do end up picking up either one of these (or both) units, make sure you grab yourself a Tzaangor Shaman to buff these guys and also add some more magical power to your heroes.

One of the coolest Models the Mortals side has to offer is the Ogroid Thaumaturge. This guy is by far the most Melee focused Hero Tzeentch has in its arsenal and is also a spell caster! If you give him the spell Infusion Arcanum (from the Mortal’s side of the spell lore) you add +1 to Hit and Wound to his attacks which is awesome!

The Magister is also a great option, either on disc and foot, to provide you an extra spell and has a chance to bring in a free Chaos Spawn with their inbuilt spell if you slay any models.

The one key model that I would suggest getting for your mortal list (and also Daemons as well) is the Fatemaster! This guy is great as he is super resilient, is not a wizard unfortunately, but has a great Command Ability that you spend a Cp at the start of the Hero phase which allows you to re-roll ALL hits for attacks of units that are wholly within 9 inches of him. SUPER handy, but does cost that CP. This guy can be kit bashed easily with a spare disc you may have, using a stand in model you find cool or you can just opt for a resin/finecast model. I kitbashed mine by sticking an extra Kairic Acolyte leader ontop of a screamer and it works fine.

The Curseling is also a great model, two cast wizard, quite choppy in combat and can also steal some spells he is able to cast (think Nagash’s Hand of Dust) however I will say I haven’t found him to be a great pick for competitive lists. That’s just personal opinion though.

The Gaunt Summoner is also a great Model to chuck in the mix, because he can bring you in that 5 man unit of Pinks which would act as really nice quick screen for whatever you put them infront of. Also he can bring in Furies which if you bought the original Warcry Starter box many moons ago, could see you find a use for them! Check their Warscroll, theyre great!

The Mortal side of Tzeentch requires a bit more research I think in terms of what you will buy to fill out your list. My suggestion would be that to cover your Battleline you will need x2 boxes of Kairic Acolytes and possibly up to 2 boxes of Tzaangors on foot to back them up! For heroes though, if you stick to the Mortal keyword religiously, you would want to grab yourself a Magister, Ogroid and also Gaunt Summoner! These additional heroes will offer lots of cool spells and perks. The Shaman offers a lot of added value for any of the Enlightened or Skyfires but is not imperative if you take them at lower unit sizes.

The Mortals side has some interesting battalions at the present, but I think they ask a bit too much for what you pay to meet their requirements. One frustrating thing is that Kairics don’t get a discount if you take them at a max size, and Tzaangors on foot are far too expensive at 180 points for 10.

With all this being said, I think that the best way to collect a Mortal list is to fill Batteline requirements with you Kairics, at bigger or smaller sizes but keeping in mind they don’t stick around too long and across the Mortal range there is terrible bravery, so you will mostly be taking them at bigger units to get the bonus to bravery (check core rules). Build ore around a central theme about what you would like your list to do in terms of being more shooting or combat focused and then always couple that with your heroes and their magic!

Remember that Tzeentch summons via the Fate Points and you can only summon Daemon units. If you want to couple summoning into your Mortal lists, grab yourself a Box of Blue and brim horrors and I would also suggest to get yourself a Start Collecting Tzeentch Box to get all the units from that box which you can summon quite easily if you play a bit of the longer game (based on magicians you may take) and if you really wait, bring in that unit of Pinks! Yet again needing the two boxes of Blues and Brims to field that unit.

I think one thing that is really worth noting is that for most Mortals Lists you want to either take a Battalion to get the extra CP or buy one. This is to make sure you can spend a CP on inspiring presence to keep a lot of the lower bravery units around due to Battleshock.

A quick Mortals 2k list that I have built would look like this:

Spoiler

 

Allegiance: Tzeentch

Change Coven: Pyrofane Cult

LEADERS

Fatemaster (120)

Magister on Disc of Tzeentch (140)

Tzaangor Shaman (150)

Ogroid Thaumaturge (160)

UNITS

20 x Kairic Acolytes (200)

10 x Kairic Acolytes (100)

10 x Kairic Acolytes (100)

20 x Tzaangors (360)

3 x Tzaangor Enlightened on Disc (180)

3 x Tzaangor Skyfires (200)

BATTALIONS

Witchfyre Coven (160)

ENDLESS SPELLS / TERRAIN / COMMAND POINTS

Extra Command Point (50)

Umbral Spellportal (70)

TOTAL: 1990/2000 WOUNDS: 130

 

The list above leans more into the shooting of the Kairics with the Battalion ability and also the coven. Whilst it doesn’t max out the synergies of the Coven and the Battalion for competitive play, it does offer a bit of everything in terms of Magic, Shooting and also Melee. If you keep the Kairics alive you can also rock up some nice fate points for some summoning!

All this being said, Slaves to Darkness still haven’t been brought into the equation and can really offer a lot more Mortal Options for both Wizards, Battleline and extra powerful units.

 

Daemon and Mortal Combo

If you want to get a good spread of both it can be a powerful combo, but I think you will always be leaning into one side more than the other for more synergy. I really like using either Pink or Blue Horrors as screens for the more key units of Mortal units, like a big block of 30 Kairics, or even using Screamers as late game objective grabbers.

The Gaunt summoner is definetely one of the better Models to pick up in any list really, but in a Mortals/Daemon combo list he has some cool tricks, especially if you just want to vomit up more models as a screen for your opponent to deal with.

At the risk of repeating myself, you can take elements of what Is mentioned above to build a good list for a combo but something I have created would look something like this:

Spoiler

 

Allegiance: Tzeentch

Mortal Realm: Chamon

Change Coven: Guild of Summoners

LEADERS

Fatemaster (120)

Fluxmaster, Herald of Tzeentch on Disc (130)

Magister on Disc of Tzeentch (140)

The Blue Scribes (120)

Tzaangor Shaman (150)

UNITS

30 x Kairic Acolytes (300)

20 x Kairic Acolytes (200)

20 x Kairic Acolytes (200)

10 x Blue Horrors of Tzeentch (100)

10 x Blue Horrors of Tzeentch (100)

9 x Tzaangor Enlightened (300)

3 x Screamers of Tzeentch (80)

ENDLESS SPELLS / TERRAIN / COMMAND POINTS

Balewind Vortex (40)

TOTAL: 1980/2000 WOUNDS: 154

 

Again, not overly synergetic, but combines a bunch of the models from the latest Battleforce Box and the Start Collecting Boxes (if you kitbash the Flux and Blue Scribes from those boxes) and would leave you open to playing both to see which you prefer playing. It also doesn’t include a Battalion but you could incorporate if you dropped a leader but you might have to work a little bit harder to get the 9 spells required to bring in a Lord of Change straight away, which is the major perc of the Guild of Summoners coven. Also a great reason to take that coven is that the Brimstone Familiar artefact you give to a hero has a 12 inch bubble of Battleshock immunity, which is awesome for those Kairics! Chuck some Blue Horrors infront as a screen and they will stick around much longer!

 

What hasn’t been covered?

There’s actually a fair bit that hasn’t and this is mostly how Allies such as Slaves to Darkness and also Beasts of Chaos work within a Tzeentch Allegiance, but I think that is something that would be for another post.

Also I really haven’t gone into too much detail about Agenda’s or Destiny Dice, but these are all things that are really worth exploring a bit later.

I also haven’t gone into the Big Man himself, Archaon! I think this guy deserves his own discussion as he’s not really an entry point for the Army, although you can build around him really well.

The Tzeentch Endless Spells and Endless Spells in general. The Tzeentch ones are actually pretty damn good and offer more utility to any of your lists!

I haven’t gone too much into detail for competitive lists and chat. This mostly happens already over at the Tzeentch forum on TGA. It’s got some players who are willing to answer any and all questions, so come join the chat!

 Fate points and summoning. But this is all covered in the tome!

 

TLDR!!!!!!

All in all, regardless of the Daemon or Mortal route, grab yourself at minimum the following:

Battletome

-          X1 Start collecting box, even if you only ever end up using these units for summoning

-          X1 – 2 boxes of Blue and Brim Horrors, same as above even if just for summoning but they make amazing screens

-          The current Battleforce is a great place to start for a Mortals heavy or Daemon/Mortals combo, especially when coupled with the Start Collecting Box

-          X2 (minimum) Boxes of Kairic Acolytes for the Mortals side

 

I hope you find this helpful in some way and I haven’t flooded you with too much info!

Thanks for reading if you got this far 😊

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Just got done playing a TZ Mortals list built around blocks of Kairic Accolytes.  Combination of the points we were playing at and lack of the models didn’t have the Tzaangor to screen them and thus had to deploy in a manner that avoided their getting into combat as they tended to “evaporate on impact” (even with the no Battleshock Artefact from Guild).  That I guess would be my request for future follow up given your obvious passion for TZ - your thoughts on how to deploy different TZ Mortals builds to be able to contest objectives but avoid losing low wound/low save models early.

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What a great timing with the Battleforce that's coming up. Amazing! Thanks for taking the time to write this.

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On 11/21/2020 at 12:59 AM, Beer & Pretzels Gamer said:

Just got done playing a TZ Mortals list built around blocks of Kairic Accolytes.  Combination of the points we were playing at and lack of the models didn’t have the Tzaangor to screen them and thus had to deploy in a manner that avoided their getting into combat as they tended to “evaporate on impact” (even with the no Battleshock Artefact from Guild).  That I guess would be my request for future follow up given your obvious passion for TZ - your thoughts on how to deploy different TZ Mortals builds to be able to contest objectives but avoid losing low wound/low save models early.

I can write something up for you no problem

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On 11/22/2020 at 2:39 PM, RUNCMD said:

I can write something up for you no problem

I would also love to read that :) Just saying.

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